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wanhong's picture

In The Lives of Animals, Coetzee adressed the question: “If we are capable of thinking our own death, why on earth should we not be capable of thinking our way into the life of a bat?”

As the question was being addressed with intensity, it could not be easily be explained by a simple sentence saying--"we are not bats"--although this is what I was thinking right after I read this question.

And the question could extend to--Are we capable of thinking from the perspective of another animal, live or dead?

I believe that some of us are capable--and I mean psychics. Like Oda Mae Brown in Ghost, psychics could embrace another soul into their body. Also, when we are caught by a spell, we could become little mouse, birds, etc.

Back to "reality", under many circumstances, when the "animal side", or shall I say, the beast-like part, of our soul is activated, we are thinking like any other animal--like the Nazi example in this book. So yes, we are capable of thinking as an animal, but not a nice one. We could never think like a nice, innocent little rabbit (unless we are infants) because I think the only intersection of cognitive process between human and other animal is that related to the same type of desire we have, not virtue, not ethics.